Learning a language is a minefield of embarrassment, frustration and potential rudeness – heaven forbid! Matt Mills, a Barcelona-based Briton, examines the perils.
Every language has its snares that certain nationalities are destined to get caught in at some point on their journey to becoming the twin-tongued Lothario we all desire to be. Here are just some of the ones that any of us who have had a punt at learning Spanish will have experienced, and if you haven’t yet, the points below may save you from making the same mistakes we did - de nada.
Using English expressions to sell products is a growing trend in Spain, a phenomenon brought up two years ago at a meeting between the Royal Spanish Academy and Spain’s advertisers.
In La Línea de la Concepción, the town in Andalusia’s Cadiz province neighboring Gibraltar, locals looking for a low-cost meal will buy a tin of carne conbí; children play with meblis and they chew chinga. Similarly, a panquequi requires bequinpauda. University student and linguist María Ortega has collected these and other words once widely used by Spaniards living in the proximity of the Rock: corned beef, marbles, chewing gum, plumcakes and baking powder.